Reporting guidelines of Chinese medicine: Current situation and future development

Xuan Zhang*, Wai Chak Andrew Chung, Chung Tai Lau, Nana Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Reporting research is as important a part of a study as its design or analysis. Reporting guidelines (RGs) provide structured advice on how to report research studies clearly and adequately. This study aimed to review the development of RGs of Chinese medicine (CM) and to provide recommendations for improvement.

Methods: Through a systematic search of the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) Network and electronic databases up to January 1, 2022, we identified a total of 15 RGs of CM, and further summarized their characteristics and applications. In addition, we reviewed the development of international RGs and analyzed its impact for CM.

Results: Compared with the generic RGs, the reporting standards of CM have been rapidly developed over the last 10 years, of which 57% were issued in recent 3 years (2019–2021). Currently, the system of RGs of CM has been established, especially for clinical trials, including various CM interventions and covering the guidelines from trial registration, protocol, results publication to the evidence synthesis and clinical practice guideline. However, the application of RGs of CM is suboptimal.

Conclusion: It is necessary to take further measures to promote practical application, improve journals’ endorsement, and establish quality monitoring procedures for RGs of CM in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese medicine
  • Clinical research
  • CONSORT for CHM formula
  • Endorsement of journals
  • EQUATOR network
  • Reporting guidelines
  • Reporting quality


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